I had arranged to take Karen my Wife out in the morning but I was hoping to get out on the bank for an hour after lunch, all dependant on how well the roads had been treated.
All the major routes were drivable and fair enough drive to the conditions but some drivers are simply ridiculous when it comes to a little snow, being stuck behind people who simply cannot get out of 2nd gear even though the roads are gritted was a pain!
Anyway after lunch, as predicted the snow stopped falling and I managed to get the car parked up and the view up the Dale was a bit different from last week.
And a little closer before they took to the wing and headed off down the Dale
The river was low and clear but I knew it wouldn't stay that way for long so I wanted to get at least an hour or so in before all the snowmelt and salt that was being put down filtered in which will kill the fishing dead for a few days, and I wanted to see if the new fly rod would perform as good on the second trip as it did on the first.
It took about 20 minutes before I got the first fish to a dropper.
Small but it was a fish and I wasnt blanking today.
Nothing else followed so I decided to head upstream where I was witness to one of nature's phenomenal sights, a female Sparrow Hawk swooping down from nowhere at speed chasing a small moorhen up the river, the whoosh of her wings still very clear as I write the blog up, A sound that was very loud in the cold still air, she caught the moorhen but dropped it into the river where it was stunned for a few seconds before running across the top of the shallow water into the cover of a bush, a very close escape. A case of being in the right place at the right time to see such a phenomenal sight.
As I rounded the top bend I stood and watched a pair of dippers sat on rocks hunting for food.
Lifting off again
There wasnt much happening in the way of fish and after a few passes through some of the deeper runs I decided to head upstream to fish a particular favourite part of this stretch to see if I could tempt a fish before calling it a day and heading home.
Some ice holes formed in the pools beside the river
Fishing up through my chosen runs I was rewarded with another Grayling on the point fly, better than the first fish and looking very majestic set against the snow.
With nothing further coming I decided to head home before darkness fell, a nice two hours out on the river, with two fish as a bonus and a sight of a Sparrow hawk hunting that I wont forget in a hurry, a nice ending to the year.